5 More Updates to Customize Your Google Forms

When Google announced a redesigned version of Forms a few weeks ago, we hoped there were even more changes on the horizon. It looks like we got our wish with 5 more updates to bring even more customizability to Google’s survey tool.

A couple of the updates allow you to preserve the integrity of your surveys, by only allowing one responses per user and shuffling the order of questions. You can learn how to access all of the updates in the video, but it’s great to see an improved experience for anyone who wants to collect data.

The updates include:

  • ‘Search the menus’ to quickly access Form features
  • Shuffle question order
  • Limit responses to one per user
  • Limit one response per column for grid style questions
  • Create shortened URL for sharing forms

*Note* – The video refers to ‘require one response per row’ for grid style questions as the update. The update is actually ‘Limit one response per column’ which can be accessed by clicking ‘Advanced settings’ while inside the grid style question.

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Curved and Elbow Connector Lines in Google Slides and Drawings

Every time Google adds a new feature to Slides it becomes an even more viable replacement for PowerPoint. That continues this week as they add even more customizability with Curved and Elbow Connector lines in Slides and Drawings.

If you’re a presentation power-user, you know how valuable every little addition to Slides can be. This update is just another tool to help you put together beautiful and professional presentations.

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Automated Lists in Google Docs

We use Google Docs for all different types of lists, sometimes rushing and not even worrying about formatting. With a recent update, Google will recognize when you’re putting something into a list and automatically add some additional formatting for you.

Automated Lists brings even more automation to Docs, which can be great if you’re in a rush or are just trying to save time. This update will recognize numbers, hyphens, asterisks and more, turning them into neatly formatted lists.

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Securing your iPhone 6 will be easier than ever with iOS Sync for Google Apps

Shortly after Apple announced the brand new iPhone 6 and 6+, the Google for Work team introduced a brand new tool for iOS device management in Google Apps. iOS Sync will support existing devices that run iOS 7, the upcoming iOS 8 and the new versions of the iPhone.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Google already has a great device management solution for Android, but iOS Sync for Google Apps brings some of that same great security and management tools to Apple devices. According to the Google for Work team:

As part of iOS Sync, you’ll get the following additional security measures:

 

- Manage Google Apps: Set a policy that prompts employees to enroll their device when they log into Google Apps such as Google Drive and Gmail.

 

- Configure WiFi networks: Distribute WiFi passwords and certificates to employees so they can easily connect to trusted networks.

 

- Support for existing policies: Manage password requirements, data encryption and camera policies, as well as actions like remotely wiping a device, activation approvals and blocking devices.

The new iOS Sync tool will also work with the existing Gmail and Google Drive apps, so there is no need for users to download any additional software. Administrators for Google Apps for Work, Google Apps for Education and Google Apps for Government will have access to iOS Sync at some point next week.

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Free voice calls from Hangouts through Android, iOS and the web

Google Hangouts has received tons of updates ever since its introduction, but it has always seemed somewhat fragmented from the classic Google Voice application. In what seems like an effort to get Voice users to switch over to Hangouts, Google has introduced free voice calls through Hangouts for Android, iOS and the browser.

Hangouts for Android

Specifically, Hangouts users can call other users for free, along with US and Canadian numbers, with low rates for international calls. The great thing about this update is that it is reflected automatically for iOS users and Hangouts through the browser. Android users will need to install the new version of Hangouts as it becomes available over the next few days.

If you’re still using Google Voice for the free calling, this seems like a great opportunity to give Hangouts a try. Google is making a big effort to increase the adoption of Hangouts, so you’ll see a constantly updated interface with tons of new features.

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Simplified sharing interface for Google Drive

Google has introduced a much more simplified version of the sharing interface in Google Drive and Drive files. This new look makes it much easier to grab a shareable link and pass it along to your collaborators.

While this update doesn’t add any new features, I do like the simplicity it offers. If you’re just trying to grab the shareable link to a file, it’s going to save you a lot of time, while still offering the granular sharing controls that we are used to.

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7 Google Apps Updates You Might Have Missed During August

Although summer is typically a fairly slow time for Google Apps updates, we still noticed a lot of changes across the board during August. Whether it was a major product release (Google Classroom) or minor improvements (Hangouts), the Google Apps team certainly didn’t take the summer off!

In case you missed some of the updates (maybe you were on vacation!), you can find 7 of our favorites listed below.

1. Customize the styling of tables in Google Docs

If you use tables in Google Docs, you know that they haven’t always been the easiest tool to use. A recent update to Docs finally makes it a lot easier to customize the styling of your tables, allowing you to highlight information in certain cells. Specifically, this update allows you to change the border color, width and style of specific cells rather than the entire table.

2. Classroom rolls out to Google Apps for EDU domains


We covered Classroom a few months ago (you can see the intro video above), but this August it finally made it’s way to GAFE domains. Classroom is the first Google Apps tool designed exclusively for educators, and we can’t wait to see where Google takes it from here.

3 Adding trendlines to charts and 4. Copy / Paste charts in Google Sheets


With Google Sheets, you can store data and visualize it with great looking charts, but you haven’t really been able to quickly identify trends in that data. That changed this August when Google finally introduced trendlines to charts in Google Sheets.

Trendlines are really easy to add to a chart and there are plenty of customization options available. You can apply a linear or exponential trendline, change the color and adjust the thickness and opacity.

As a bonus update, Google has also added the ability to copy / paste charts inside of Google Sheets. You can copy / paste from one sheet or spreadsheet to another, but the data will only be updated if it is in the same spreadsheet. Otherwise your chart will only reflect the data as it was originally copied.

5. Quickly find available contacts in Google Hangouts


Chatting inside of Gmail was completely redesigned with the introduction of Google Hangouts. We love Hangouts, but until now a few features were missing that made it hard to quickly find available contacts.

The latest update to Hangouts in Gmail creates a new ‘Hangouts Contacts’ tab to sort your contacts into available and unavailable. Both sets of contacts are now sorted alphabetically, making it a lot more intuitive to find whoever you need to chat with.

6. Add Hangouts to Google Calendar events


An update made it’s way in August to Google Apps domains on the scheduled release track, adding the ability to join a Hangout directly from a Google Calendar event. Hangouts, especially when tied with Calendars, is a great way to visually collaborate with people inside and outside your domain.

This new feature gives you the ability to add, remove and edit the title of video calls right inside a Calendar event. There is also granular controls for Admins in the Admin Console, allowing you to add / remove this feature for your entire domain or specific OUs.

7. New Google Slides for iOS app brings even more Microsoft Office integration

Google has made a strong push over the last several months to bring more integration between Docs, Sheets and Slides and Microsoft Office files. While Slides has somewhat lagged behind Docs and Sheets, that is no longer the case with the brand-new Slides app for iOS.

Google has often preached that they want you to be able to work on any file, with any device, anywhere in the world with Google Drive. This update allows you to manage all of your Google presentations on your iPhone or iPad, as well as open, create and edit Powerpoint presentations.


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Customize themes in Google Forms

If you asked any power user of Google Forms what feature they desperately needed, nearly everyone would answer with the ability to edit and customize themes. We’ve had to wait a few years, but you finally have the ability to create beautiful and custom Forms!

With this huge update to Forms, Google has added a brand new collection of themes to choose from, which can be customized to fit your specific needs. Alternatively, you can start from scratch and create your own Form theme using your own images.

Aside from adding custom images, you can also change the form color, background color, font, font size / color and more!


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy the Google Gooru Newsletter. Sign up today to receive each new post, right in your inbox! Sign up here.

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Quickly find available contacts in Google Hangouts

Chatting inside of Gmail was completely redesigned with the introduction of Google Hangouts. We love Hangouts, but until now a few features were missing that made it hard to quickly find available contacts.

The latest update to Hangouts in Gmail creates a new ‘Hangouts Contacts’ tab to sort your contacts into available and unavailable. Both sets of contacts are now sorted alphabetically, making it a lot more intuitive to find whoever you need to chat with.

This update is making it’s way over the next few days to Google Apps domains on the Rapid release track with Scheduled release domains getting access in about two weeks.


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy the Google Gooru Newsletter. Sign up today to receive each new post, right in your inbox! Sign up here.

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New Google Slides app for iOS brings even more Microsoft Office integration

Google has made a strong push over the last several months to bring more integration between Docs, Sheets and Slides and Microsoft Office files. While Slides has somewhat lagged behind Docs and Sheets, that is no longer the case with the brand-new Slides app for iOS.

Google Slides for iOS

Google has often preached that they want you to be able to work on any file, with any device, anywhere in the world with Google Drive. With the Slides app for iOS you can manage all of your Google presentations on your iPhone or iPad, as well as open, create and edit Powerpoint presentations.

In their official announcement, Google cites research stating 80% of Microsoft Office licenses are only lightly used, with most users not taking advantage of the full suite available to them. While Google may lag behind Microsoft slightly in terms of features, this research shows that not all of us need the full functionality provided with Microsoft. This update is also great for those of us who don’t necessarily work with Office files, but may sometimes need to view or make changes when working with collaborators.


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy the Google Gooru Newsletter. Sign up today to receive each new post, right in your inbox! Sign up here.

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